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Investors Want Facebook's Board to Change Amid Rising Criticism

Founder Mark Zuckerberg has a special class of super-voting shares and controls 58% of the voting shares as a majority stakeholder.

Shareholders want Facebook, now called Meta Platforms  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report, to restructure its board so that the company can better address issues of harmful content among others.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund and Illinois State Treasurer have reportedly filed eight proposals overall for the tech giant's review, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, which cited the the Investor Alliance for Human Rights.

"The resolutions include calls for board oversight of efforts to reduce harmful content, an assessment of the risk of the company’s metaverse efforts and a review of the social media company’s audit and risk committee," according to the Journal.

Facebook's board is presently designed in a way that gives Founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg a lot of power. Zuckerberg, who has served as Facebook chairman since 2012, controls about 58% of the voting shares, according to a regulatory filing.

“Facebook is willing to allow a certain level of hate speech, political misinformation, and divisive rhetoric so it can make more money,” Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs told the Journal in the report cited above. “That is exactly why the board’s governance structure must change."

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In May, the social media company rejected two proposals intended to diminish Zuckerberg’s control over the company, including eliminating the special class of super-voting shares that gives Zuckerberg a controlling stake in the company.

Facebook Spokesperson Ryan Moore told the Journal that, “We have every commercial and moral incentive to try to give the maximum number of people as much of a positive experience as possible on Facebook."

The company continues to face regulatory scrutiny over its content moderation practices.

Last week, Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri was at Capitol Hill to answer questions from the Senate Commerce Committee's consumer-protection pane. It was investigating the company's internal research findings about the photo and video sharing app that indicated that it worsens body image issues for some users.

Meta Platforms has said the service is making changes to make the platform safer for teenagers.